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Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Delhi News : Lack of insurance for multiple sclerosis hampers treatment

New Delhi, August 30, 2013< DHNS:
Despite the availability of treatment for multiple sclerosis for almost 15 years, the high cost and insurance companies reluctance to cover the lifelong disease are preventing patients from benefiting, feel neurologists in the capital.
Though there are no exact statistics on multiple sclerosis (MS), it is estimated that there are between 1,00,000 and 2,00,000 such patients in the country. The patented injections for the nerve disorder cost around Rs 27,000 to 28,000 per month on an average.

MS is an auto-immune disease in which the body attacks its own cells and tissues. While not totally curable, the therapies can reduce the frequency and severity of MS attacks and in some cases can slow the progression of the disabling condition.

“Multiple sclerosis was not treatable 15 years ago. But today research in drug development has made it possible to manage the disorder by up to 65 per cent,” said Dr Shamsher Diwedi, senior consultant of Neurology at Vidyasagar Institute for Mental Health, Neuro and Allied Sciences.

Too costly
“Sadly, their accessibility is still an issue as most patients are unable to afford the lifelong treatment as insurance companies have been reluctant to cover the disease under medical insurance,” he added.
Doctors also feel that patients are not well-informed about the medicines available, which is hampering appropriate treatment.

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